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  1. #1

    Default leader's ability to stretch: does it matter?

    i've recently read a description of a line-manufacturer's fluoro (leader), saying the main advantage of it shall be it's great ability to stretch when you play a salmon.
    personally, when spinning for salmon i have always used lines that don't stretch much and never lost a fish.
    now turning to flyfishing, choosing adequate leader material and reading the mentioned description, the question comes to my mind of how important the leader's ability to stretch really is. so far i've always thought that the salmon's mouth is quite hard an the risk of "slitting out" the hook is quite low.

    according to your experience, does a higher ability to stretch really matter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ashland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,290

    Default

    'Stretch' is a two edged sword. For light leaders, it's probably a good thing to have a bit of 'give' if the fish decides to take a hard fast run. With heavier leaders (for me that means 8# and up) I want as little stretch as possible as it helps with the 'hook set.'

    fae

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Posts
    1,442

    Default Calcium, Salmon, and Lead STRETCH

    IMHO...stretch is a double edges sword but IF my hooks are like razors....then I want stretch....less so on stale fish but for the FRESH fish...I want loads of stretch....especially on BIG fresh salmon that fight hard in a big river.....the drag is useless once a 100-200 yards of line is off the reel...its all down to your leader for stretch.....a big salmon will snap a leader while you never felt ANY additional strain on the rod end of the gear....reason...it ran upstream like a bolt of lightning (6.2 body lengths a second....grisle can do 4.2 but are also SHORTER) and the FLY LINE induced the drag NOT the rod. SPEY LINES are terrible for this reason (thick diameter...and thus increased uncontrollable drag). A shooting head, stretchy leader and thin running line WILL land more big fresh salmon than other gear.

    Atlantic salmon are an anadromous cold water North Atlantic fish. This ocean has a FAR reduced calcium component in the food web due to the simple fact that the water doesn't dissolve as much of it as warmer southern waters (and the more southern feeding ocean fish....perhaps UK fish have harder bones than NA fish....gulf stream).

    Thus, FRESH atlantic salmon have VERY soft bones (compared to other oceanic fish) that tear easily (hence 50% - on average- lost fish). However, as the fish increases its time in the river its bones HARDEN or ossify as it removes calcium from other tissues in its body to harden its bones...especially the jaws. Stale fish are thus less easily lost for A) lack of fight AND B) harder jaw bones.

    I like sproat bend, short shanked, down turned round eyed, DEEP gap hooks as they bite more bone...that are sharp. eg the old 3906 and 3999 and 3399 mustad (beware the burred eye wire ends, and dull points on these economical hooks).

    Hope this helps...

    PS I have tested this for 20 years on 34 rivers...and guide 6 days a week or more....all season.
    Get educated and involved in what salmon open net pens are doing, before it is too late!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    Oh...and how much does a tapered leader stretch compared to a level leader....hmmm....this is easy to test....tape measure and hooks and leader stretched until it breaks off the hook....try it....maybe like me you'll learn to HATE tapered leaders...

    Flourocarbon stretch advert? Hmmmmm....they finally realize what us fishermen are complaining about....and are trying to salvage a product I guess.....flouro is on its way out for salmon fishing is my guess.....(Oh and its garbage for salmon IMHO too....no stretch and too high a pound test that snaps anyway...).
    Get educated and involved in what salmon open net pens are doing, before it is too late!

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